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WYDOT Updates IDs For Security

Wyoming Department of Transportation

Next time Wyoming residents renew their IDs they will receive an updated card.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is issuing new driver licenses and ID cards. They now have 13 security features, as well as an update to the design with images of Devils Tower and the Wyoming State Capitol on the front and back, respectively.

WYDOT Driver Services Program Manager Misty Dobson said the card is made from polycarbonate material.

"The black ink is actually extracted from the layers of the card, making it very difficult to reproduce unless you have that specific type of printer and card to do so," she said.

Dobson said the safety upgrades will make it more difficult for people to reproduce fake IDs, something that could be used to fraudulently open a bank account or lines of credit. WYDOT also worked with Wyoming Highway Patrol to create a card that would make it easier to identify fake cards in the field.

"Wyoming has three specific features that are only on our cards. No other state in the U.S. has them. So I do feel that our card is one of the most secure cards in the nation," she said.

The changes come after the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators released new security recommendations in 2016. Dobson said the Cheyenne office started a pilot program for the new ID since November 2019 to upgrade software and the card.

Dobson said residents don't need to rush out to get a new ID.

"As the individual's current driver's license expires, they will come in, apply for the new license, and then we issued the new, more secure credential," she said.

Wyoming last changed its IDs back in 2011 to become compliant with the federal REAL ID standards. The cards will continue to be compliant with REAL ID.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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